The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has announced Abu Dhabi’s House of Artisans participation at the 2023 London Design Biennale, a global stage for world-leading contemporary design and design-led innovation, creativity and research taking place from 1-25 June at London’s Somerset House. 

Under this year’s creative theme, The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations, House of Artisans will represent Abu Dhabi and Emirati crafts, and highlight collaborations between crafts and architecture, showcasing the traditional Emirati process of Al Sadu (the traditional weaving technique practised by Bedouins was in 2011 inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding), along with raising awareness on the importance of preserving these crafts for future generations. 

Under the immersive installation, Formation of Soof, the House of Artisans will pay tribute to the core materials and tools of Al Sadu craft: wool (Soof) and the spinner/ spindle (Maghzal or Ghazal), sharing insight into the traditional weaving technique practised in the UAE, portraying an essential bond between culture, heritage and creativity, passed down from older generations to the new.

The House of Artisans pavilion celebrates the flow of movement that allows the transformation from soft raw material into the Al Sadu textiles that are architecturally fundamental to building traditional Bedouin tents.

Making the most of the three-week event, featuring 40 exhibitors from around the world with a programme that showcases world-leading design, confronts global challenges and inspires audiences with thought-provoking and interactive installations, House of Artisans will connect with international institutions, designers, artists, crafts, culture entities and brands.